Frank Finlay, Who Received an Oscar Nomination Performing Across From Laurence Olivier, Dies at 89

Laurence Olivier Awards - Backstage Boards
Finlay in 2007. Photo: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

Frank Finlay, the British actor known for his performances onstage and onscreen, including his Oscar-nominated turn as Iago across from Laurence Olivier in 1965’s Othello, passed away from heart failure this Saturday. His son, David, shared the news on Facebook. Finlay was 89.

On film, Finlay starred in Richard Lester’s adaptations of The Three Musketeers (1973) and Four Musketeers (1974), as well as Richard Eyre’s The Ploughman’s Lunch (1983), and Roman Polanski’s The Pianist (2002). Finlay spent much of his career onstage, performing during the early days of the the English Stage Company at the Royal Court and Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre Company. On television, he starred in the BBC’s six-part series Casanova (1971), as well as several filmed theater productions on the network.

Though Finlay received the CBE (Commander Order of the British Empire) in 1984, he was never knighted. “Perhaps I haven’t been high-profile enough,” Finlay joked to The Independent in an interview in the 1990s. Finlay’s former co-stars, including Roger Moore, and family members — his grandson, Josh Coombes, is a drummer for Tigress — shared condolences and memories on social media. Finlay is survived by his three children.

Oscar-Nominated Actor Frank Finlay Dies at 89